The other day as I was having a few drinks while watching a televised reason why Kobe should get the MVP, I got into a heated debate concerning number 8 himself with a group of guys I had just met. Of course I'm a huge fan, but if someone brings a legitimate argument to the table then I am forced to respect it, regardless of my lifelong devotion to the Lakers. Out of all the arguments that could be used, selfishness, ball hog, insert any regurgitated argument you like, you know what was their main complaint against Bryant?? They kept saying, like they were a part of some sort of inbred 3 piece harmony, "But he cheated on his wife!!!! He cheated on his wife!!" Usually I would have immediately called them out, possibly mushing them in the face the same way one might embarrass a little brother, or giving them a tongue lashing that would have had them questioning their miserable existence on this earth, something funny happened. My common sense, a dude who gets more playing time now that I'm older but usually spends most of his time on the bench, ripped off his warm up uniform and said, "Critic, there's three of them. I know you aren't scared, but disrespecting them might get you fucked up, think about that!", then he slowly walked back to the bench where he put back on his warm up uniform. After I tore the gentleman a new asshole, telling them what specific part of the vagina they were for pointing out Kobe's infidelity as a legitimate reason for their hatred for him, rattled off the great men in history who were unfaithful to their wives that they had no problem with, and openly challenged them to a fight if they had a problem with what I just said, I felt more mature for the simple fact that I gave that bench warmer any playing time at all.
But nothing happened, that 6th man inside my head had scored the game winning shot and saved me from an ass whipping, but it made me think of a time where I would have taken all three of those guys on with no sweat. Not because I have skills like that, but because a few years ago I wanted nothing more than to die, by any means necessary.
The year was 2001, a good friend of mine had just died, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 9/11 had just happened, my girlfriend of 5 years had just left me for a guy who was literally a bum, and the man who I had struggled to gain a healthy relationship for 27 years had just died, that man being my father. Besides falling into a deep depression from the enormity of all my issues, another man literally tearing the love of my life a "new one", my mothers health, the fact that my old man had died, our poor relationship, and me avoiding seeing him much at the end for fear of hearing any "death bed, 'you ain't shit!'" speeches had me finding solace at the bottom of a bottle. Bar fights, run-ins with cops, waking up in strange places, imagine a black version of that Nick Cage movie "Leaving Las Vegas" but less of an after-school special feel to it and that was my life.
Even though I never had visions of sticking a loaded handgun in my mouth as my car is parked in some deserted field somewhere, my last thoughts being that I hope my mother knows how much I love her and me hoping that she can read my chicken scratch of a suicide note, but I realized that my actions around this time were those of a man that wanted to die in the worst way. Based on my blurry recollections of those times, and a Charles Manson inspired journal that I kept during that period, here are a few times where I'm not sure if I wanted to kill myself, but I definitely threw caution to the wind.
Went Hang gliding: This was a crazy as fuck idea based on the fact that heights is one of my only fears, ok, add snakes, claustrophobia, black republicans, and clowns to that list as well. But for some reason my numbness at the time had me thinking that soaring in the air was a bright idea, so soon after I found myself hungover trying to pay attention to the Pre-flight class you have to take before hang gliding, desperately trying to hide the increasing chubby in my shorts based on the instructor looking exactly like Pam Grier in her heyday. She was also going to be up in the air with me as well, so I did my best to be a perfect student, making her laugh, hoping that the breath mints covered up the aroma of Jack Daniels and ass that I had the night before.
Fast forward a few hours later and we are being taken to the huge ass hill a few miles away. We get secured in our gear, everything seems fine, then as soon as we are running to the edge of the hill to soar like Michael Jordan foul line dunks, that common sense voice comes out of no where and says, "I know you are on this 'I don't care if I live or die, so I'm going to do crazy shit' phase. But dude, you are scared of heights!!" As we both left the hill becoming airborne I was scared shitless, no doubt about that, but her butt rubbing against my "happy place" quieted me like a crying baby who gets a bottle shoved in its mouth. But apparently mid-air dry-humping wasn't enough as mid flight I started screaming like a white woman in a horror movie, convulsing as the instructor yelled in my ear, "calm the fuck down". The next few minutes were the longest ever, I've never been prison raped before but my "close my eyes until the horrific event is over "approach has to be a similar stance taken by brand new "prison bitches" everywhere. When we landed all attempts of trying to be cool were lost, since I couldn't stop vomiting the next few moments. It was clear that this woman who reminded me of a certain blacksploitation actress would never fuck me, but it became even clearer when she pointed at my crotch and asked, "Dude, did you just fucking piss yourself??"
Picked up a Prostitute: I know I'm a big germaphobe, but the main reason why I haven't had a steady flow of ass since the Clinton administration is for fear of my dick falling off. I mean, I have been biblical with so many questionable pieces of ass in my day, I feel like a cat who has wasted 8 of his lives and one more fuck up will leave him cat roadkill. But during this time, because I threw caution to the wind on many occasions, when I saw a prostitute walking down the street it seemed like a good idea to pick her up. Not well versed in purchasing booty before, I felt like I was 12 years old at my school dance, clumsily asking Kim Davis if she wanted to dance to Nucleus' "Jam on it". As she started to run down her price list my paranoia kicked it:
HumanityCritic: Wait a minute, is that an Adam's apple??
Hooker: No baby, I'm a woman.
HumanityCritic: Bullshit, let me see some identification!
Hooker: Look(showing me I.D) I'm a woman. So, do you want me to please you or what?
HumanityCritic: Yeah, Yeah. How long have you been hooking?
Hooker: Why does that matter?
HumanityCritic: Because 2 years sounds a lot better than 14 years to my penis.
Hooker: Does 4 years make you feel better?
HumanityCritic: A little. Are you clean? I mean, I know you are a hooker and everything, fucking strange men being your forte. But just because I buy a used car that many people have driven doesn't mean that I can't expect a quality product.
Hooker: Jesus man, you don't need a hooker you need a nurse. I'm clean. (Looking down) Why are you pulling out three condoms?
HumanityCritic: I'm putting all three of them on, at the end of the day I'm still fucking a hooker.
Hooker: I understand that, but after you put those condoms arm your dick will look like a fucking baby's arm. You aren't putting that in me!!
HumanityCritic: What happened to the customer always being right??
Hooker: A customer never had to get fucked with three thick layers of Kevlar-like latex.
The next few minutes we went back and forth like a ghetto version of Abbot and Costello, until I finally realized that paying for sex just wasn't me, even if my life was meaningless at that present time. We spent the next couple of hours driving around as she gave me some excellent advice about my life and the issues I was having. Even though I have never paid for sex, I gave her a couple of hundred dollars for her advice and the fact that I subjected her to my extremely abnormal germaphobia.
Picked a fight with 3 dudes: One of the most severe ass whipping I have ever received is when I decided to start a fight with three gentlemen during my self-destructive phase. The whole thing could have been avoided, but based on the fact that I wanted the grim reaper to visit me sooner and not later, I poured fire on an already volatile situations.
Simply put, you know how people put change of a pool table to signify that they are "next"? Well, some dude somehow accused me of taking his change, and when he realized that he had falsely accused me he apologize profusely. Instead of just accepting his apology and moving on, I walked over to him while he was with his friends and hit him square in the mouth. A scuffle ensued where, for a while that is, I was successful fighting three dudes off with a pool stick. But my luck changed as we got outside, finding myself on the business end of a "you hold his right arm, you hold his left arm, and I'll beat the shit out of him" high school bully shit. My eyes rapidly closing due to the swelling, and blood pouring out of my mouth like I was one of Bruce Lee's victims post ass whipping, I stumbled back into the bar and screamed, "You pussy's want some more?" So these men gladly obliged me, and I got some clean shots in, but I had so many feet to the head I felt like one of those virtual dancing games you might see in an arcade.
This time, now both eyes 90% closed and my jaw the size of a baseball, I went back in the club, grabbed a pool cue and said, "You motherfuckers didn't think I was going away that easy, did you??" One of them said, "Fuck this, you're crazy man!!!" as they left. They left, not because I was a bad ass, but because they knew that I had a fucking death wish. For that, I will forever be in their debt.